Overdue gratitude for Vietnam veterans takes over Missouri

Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall

It was a first in the state of Missouri, a day to honor our Vietnam Veterans.

Saturday, four veterans - one each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines - received special medals from Governor Jay Nixon at the state capitol. The veterans honored included Stephen Hill, of Webb City, (Army); John Albright, Sunrise Beach (Navy); Michael Puckett, Camdenton (Air Force); and David Coleman, House Springs (Marines.)

Missouri lawmakers approved legislation last year designating March 30 as a day of special recognition for Vietnam veterans.

The M.W. Boudreaux Memorial Visitor Center, at Mark Twain Lake hosted a ceremony for Vietnam veterans. All veterans were asked to share their stories and memories from their war days, followed by a presentation of the colors by the American Legion Post 510 of Laddonia, American Legion Post 55 of Hannibal and VFW 3772 of Mexico. Taps by VFW Post 4088 of Perry and a drill team performance by the Missouri Military Academy Fusileers of Mexico drew the day's activities to a close. A re-enactment of the Bob Hope Vietnam Show also entertained the crowds.

This is the second day in a week honoring veterans of specific wars. Nixon designed last Tuesday,

March 26

, as a day to honor veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in Missouri.